Isotopes in Environmental Physics

Lecture content:

Stable and radioactive isotopes have a wide range of applications in environmental studies. The isotopic composition of stable elements is widely used to identify their sources and the knowledge about the climate in the Earth's history heavily relies on isotopic measurements. The main application of radioactive isotopes in environmental studies is dating. The objective of the course is to introduce the principles and applications of stable and radioactive isotope analysis to study environmental processes. The lectures about stable isotopes will cover the terminology/notation, the theory of equilibrium and kinetic fractionation as well as the measurement techniques. For the radioactive isotopes the different forms of radioactive decay and the emitted radiation will be presented. The main focus of the lecture will be on applications of isotopes in environmental studies. Selected topics will be presented by the students. These will be partly presented by the students in the “example classes”.